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Paralyzed by Witch

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Reviewed on 11th March 2008.



By Witch

Having J Mascis at the helm may bring illusions of driving guitars, messily fighting with themselves, but here he has returned to his first instrument, the drums, along with Dave Sweetapple (bass), and Kyle Thomas of feathers to create a sound far removed from anything they are well known for.

This, the second album from this supergroup, has the raw punk of the Dead Kennedys and the Dwarves, with Therapy-style high pitched snare hits and all with a taste of the seventies and Black Sabbath.

As the band never practice and rarely play shows, the sound has a unique feel to it that is of the moment. The grunge of Dinosaur Jr and the avant-folk of Feathers is replaced by pure metal, and allows the band members to really let their long hair down.

Thomas has vocals similar to Dead Meadow's Jason Simon, unassuming but getting the job done. Mascis and Sweetapple are a steady rhythm section, but it is the usually folky Thomas and Kurt Weisman (fellow Feathers man Asa Irons' replacement) that steal the limelight here. The production is not exactly crisp, but the result does more for the sound than a more polished piece of work would. The songs are meant to be sloppy; these guys have already proved their salt in their other offerings, and now is time for some fun.

The variety of the album, though all doom metal in the first instance, is evident with '1000 mph' (fast, punk rock with somewhat tongue-in-cheek lyrics), 'Sweet Sue', with its Sabbath-washed riffs and slow; quite melodic rhythm, and the clever feedback intro to 'Psychotic Rock'.

So don't expect a Dinosaur Jr or Feathers style band, as it is far from it. But do expect a fun metal album with established band members returning to their roots in the eighties.



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